As most people must know by now, Bengal cats are extremely intelligent and they are always going to try to find different ways to try and communicate things to us. Sometimes, what we might see as bad behavior is the result of them trying to talk to us. So, it’s really important that as a pet parent that we try to understand what our Bengal is trying to say to us and then see if the issue can be addressed. Bengal cats are not mean and they are not destructive deliberately. In this post we will cover the following:
Before going any further, if you are having issues with your Bengal scratching furniture, understand that you should never hit your Bengal or any pet for that matter. Hitting your Bengal is going to be totally ineffective because they simply don’t understand physical type of punishment. Instead they will often see it as an aggressive action towards them.
This type of action will only destroy the trust that you’ve built with them and it can destroy your relationship with them. In fact, your Bengal cat can remember this kind of attack on them and then hold it as a serious grudge against you. Better ways to handle things when your cat misbehaves is by clapping loudly when they do it, raise your voice with assertion as well as using a spray bottle with water.
When it comes to your Bengal cat and scratching your furniture or your carpets, the first thing you need to understand is that scratching is totally natural for all cats. There are a variety of different reasons why they scratch. One reason is that their paws contain scent glands and when they scratch it’s a way they can mark their territory.
Scratching is also a great way for them to stretch and work out their muscles in their front quarters. Remember, Bengals are extremely active and scratching is just a form of exercise for them, so they need something to help them exert some of their pent up energy. Another reason why they scratch is to help them shed themselves of their claws. And finally, cats tend to like to scratch because it actually feels good to do it.
One thing you need to understand with any cat, is this, you are never going to be able to make your furry friend to stop their scratching. However, you can learn to re-direct their scratching. This is where the right kind of scratching posts will come in handy.
It’s important that you make sure that your Bengal has their own areas where they can go to scratch with perhaps a simple cat scratching post as well as one that has different levels that they can not only scratch on but allows them to climb and have a spot to hide. You also need to make sure they have plenty of things to play with, especially toys that are interactive so they don’t get bored during the day. We have created a list of our favorite toys for Bengal cats here.
When it comes to scratching posts make sure that the surfaces re rough and the post is vertical because they love to scratch vertically. They love posts that are made of natural fibers because they love the smell of the material along with the texture of natural fibers.
You will want to place your scratching posts in locations that your Bengal cat tends to like the most. One good place that you can place a cat post is by where they most often sleep. Cats love to wake up and stretch and scratch, so having one by where they sleep is a key location to have one placed. Another thing to do is to keep note of places they tend to scratch the most at and then put a cat post in that area so that they’ll scratch that and not the carpet or furniture in that area.
After you have placed cat posts where you think they’re needed keep watch on your Bengal to see their reaction. If they start to scratch the furniture or carpet there make sure to firmly say “no” and then put them right by the cat post and when your Bengal starts to use it make sure to praise them for using it.
You also might want to rub some catnip on your cat posts in order to get their attention and attract them to the post. You can also attach toys that your cat loves to the scratching post. Sometimes the type that are filled with catnip might be the ideal toy to put on the post to keep their interest in the post.
You can also clicker/treat train your Bengal to have interest in the scratching post. Whenever you Bengal goes to the post and begins to scratch on it click the clicker and when they scratch it give them a treat immediately. Click the clicker near the post each time you want them to come to the post and scratch and reward with a treat each time. Eventually they’ll equate the post with something they love.
Finally, make sure to clean the area where you don’t want your Bengal cat to be scratching. This way you are removing their scent from that area. Another thing you can try to do is cover the area temporarily with shelf paper, foil or special paper you cat buy from a pet supply store. This can help to discourage your Bengal for using this area as a scratching area. Check out the great scratching post/play area these Bengals have.
The first thing you’ll notice about your Bengal cat is how much they love food. They also equate the wonderful smells of food with your kitchen counters and dining table. You can bet that as soon as your back is turned they’re going to consider jumping up on the counter or table to taste what smells so good. As much as they want to do this, they don’t see the danger in it. But it can be dangerous and as a pet parent you need to keep them safe. Too many times cats have gotten burned because they’ve jumped on a stove that was still on or were hurt by hot steam. So, as their protector, you need to train them that this is a bad place for them and it’s off limits.
When they jump up on the counter or table, it’s important that you pick them up and look right into their face and firmly say “no” to them and then put them back down on the floor. Another thing you should do is have a water bottle handy and spray your cat directly when they jump up and say “no” at the same time. Another good thing you can do is put orange peels in spots where your Bengal tends to try to jump up on the most often. Most cats absolutely hate the smell of any kind of citrus. Another way to train them to keep off unsafe areas is take some masking tape and then fold the pieces into loops and place in areas your cat most often goes to. Your cat hates to have its feet come in contact with the sticky part of the tape and will soon equate that area of the counter with the icky, sticky tape.
One final tip. Consider feeding your cat before you start preparing and cooking your foods. Often if they are already full, what you are doing in the kitchen may not interest them if they’re not hungry.
It might take a little bit of time to teach your Bengal not to jump up on your counters and tables, so be patient. They will eventually learn that these areas come with unpleasant experiences and being as smart as they are, they will avoid these areas. Just remember, every Bengal has their own unique personality and are going to respond in their own way to the training. So, be patient.
So, did we help you any with Bengal cats scratching your furniture and how to keep them from doing so? Please let us know what you think by leaving your own comment below.